Wednesday, January 18, 2012

5 Things to Know About Livewell Diet

Introduced in 2011 by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Livewell Diet merges the two concepts of healthy eating and maintaining a sustainable global food supply, proposing that the two can work in tandem. According to scientists at the University of Aberdeen's Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, who collaborated with the WWF on the project, the Livewell Diet's twin objectives of a healthy populace and a sustainable food supply can be accomplished by focusing on less meat and more fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet, and by supporting producers of organic and cruelty-free foods.
The Five Livewell Principles
The Livewell Diet is based on five dietary principles. The first principle is to eat more plant foods such as fruits and vegetables. The second principle, to waste less food, targets the vast amounts of food wasted each day by consumers. The third principle, to eat less meat, proposes that meat should be an accompaniment rather than the center of every meal. The fourth principle is to eat fewer processed foods, which contain high levels of sugars and preservatives. The fifth principle is to buy foods that meet a certified standard, such as organically grown produce and animal products produced under cruelty-free conditions.
Sustainable Living
In recent years, environmentalists have blamed increased consumption of beef for a number of escalating environmental problems having to do with land resources. According to the World Wildlife Fund, 70 percent of agricultural land in the U.S. is used to grow crops for livestock feed. This emphasis on feeding and watering larger numbers of livestock not only takes a toll on land, crop and water supplies, but also means clearing rain forest areas for farming. Other factors, such as greenhouse gases and chemical fertilizers, have also been blamed for environmental and ozone deterioration.
Healthy Eating
Nutritionists have long targeted processed foods because of chemical additives and preservatives used in their production. The Livewell Diet emphasizes fresh produce, meats and dairy products with no chemical additives. In addition, the Livewell Diet stresses portion control, not only in order to check food waste, but also to stem rising health problems from fat and cholesterol. According to Livewell researchers, a focus on proteins, vegetables, fruits, fiber foods and dairy products -- rather than processed foods and foods high in fat and sugar -- will lead to a healthier, longer-lived population.
Wasting Less, Saving More
According to its developers, another benefit of the Livewell Diet is that it is cost effective. Proponents of the diet say that typically, by eating less meat and dairy and more vegetables and whole grains, most consumers should be able to save an appreciable portion of their weekly food budget. In addition, the deliberate effort to waste less food should also result in smaller grocery bills for many households.
Livewell Menu
The World Wildlife Fund has published a sample one-week Livewell menu that can be downloaded.
While the "eat less save more" idea is part of the initiative, Livewell researchers also emphasize the fact that the Livewell Diet promotes healthy eating habits, as well as a way to take an active part in ensuring a sustainable food supply for future generations.

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